BACKGROUND: (blind field) METHODS: Using intraoperatively-derived human tissue, we employ a combination of cell culture, FACS-sorting, and immunohistochemistry techniques to characterize human glioma and GSC homing to the SVZ, as well as identify new, targetable cytokine pathways relevant to this niche. RESULTS: Our analysis identifies glioma cells homing to human SVZ and co-opting the gap layer for tangential migration. Interestingly, we find that human SVZ-invasive glioma cells are 50-fold more likely to function as glioma stem cells. Organotypic slice culture and co-culture assays also identify chemotactic effects, associated integrins, and related extracellular matrix proteins of 3 SVZ-enriched ligands (EGF, PDGF-BB, and SDF1) known to drive pro-migratory glioma pathways. CONCLUSIONS: Despite its quiescence, the adult human SVZ retains the signaling machinery to support cell migration and these mechanisms may be co-opted by glioma stem cells during subependymal spread in humans. SECONDARY CATEGORY: n/a.